Hello, friends! Over the past two years, I’ve been using Instagram and YouTube more frequently. I post videos of original music, jazz standards, and the occasional tutorial. I love how social media allows us to connect with people all over the world!
Recently, I’ve gotten an increased number of questions along the lines of “do you teach ukulele lessons?” and “how do you play this particular song?” I am passionate about making people feel included. I don’t think information (especially about music) should be unnecessarily exclusive or hidden. So by all means, I want to share what I know!
When I’m honest with myself, however, I know that if I were to add something to my schedule (teaching private lessons, for example), I would disappoint myself and others by not being able to follow through. And though I would like to share info about all songs I’ve learned, my musicianship is the result of years of hard work and study (and an expensive music degree I’ll be paying off for a long time). I don’t think it would be respectful of that effort to simply give away every lesson I’ve learned.
The solution I’ve settled on, at least for now, is Patreon! Patreon is a website that connects “creators” with “patrons”. Jacob Collier famously used it for his “I harmonize U” videos. The idea is that creators can share exclusive content with “patrons”, or people who choose to support them financially. Every Patreon page is different, but mine is set up with 2 options. You can pay either $5/month and have access to everything I publish, or you can pay $1 per creation. Based on how frequently I post, either option tends to cost about the same.
Right now, I typically share performance videos with my Patrons. They gain access to clips of live shows that no one else sees. But I also respond quickly to requests from patrons. If someone has chosen to support me financially, you bet I’m answering their questions as quickly as possible.
So this is what I’m going to try moving forward: I will be using Patreon to accommodate tutorial or teaching requests. If a Patron requests a tutorial for a particular song I’ve played, I will make a tutorial! If a Patron has questions about a musical concept that might be covered in private lessons, I will answer that questions for all my patrons. This is the best way I can think of to balance my desire to share knowledge and my desire not to overcommit or disrespect my own time and effort.
If joining my Patreon is not a viable option for you, I completely understand! It’s always awkward to put a price on creative endeavors, but I appreciate your patience and understanding as I try out this new approach!
You can check out my Patreon at www.patreon.com/abigailflowersmusic